Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Do The Banksters Have Food Tasters Too?


Beware the exploding latte

While the Israeli military, the IDF, organizes an innovative approach in establishing a New Media unit to fight Israel's enemies on Twitter and Facebook-- I was contacted by one of their agents based in West Palm Beach this morning-- Goldman Sachs executives are getting ready to do battle as well. This morning Alice Schroeder reported for Bloomberg that "senior Goldman people have loaded up on firearms and are now equipped to defend themselves if there is a populist uprising against the bank."

I remember when some sharp-talking Mafia-related thugs persuaded the Japanese that they should run SONY Records. These were my colleagues in the music business and they wore pistols strapped to their ankles. I don't think they were worried about the proletariat per se, though-- just angry rappers who didn't understand the "way things work"-- meaning, how labels sell records and then keep all the profits for themselves through bookkeeping tricks that leave the "talent" with about what Goldman Sachs leaves its victims. Over the weekend I did a post about how interns are becoming the new slave labor pool for corporate America and used Warner Music as the example. I forgot to mention that with all the hundreds of layoffs and the gigantic downsizing of the company, the chairman still has a personal bodyguard on staff. Damned rappers!

In any case, I am really looking forward to the first shootout between power mad banksters from MorganStanleySmithBarney and GolmanSachs and can only pray that some crooked BankAmerica executives get caught in the cross fire. After all, it's obvious the only way these people, having paid over $6 billion in political protection money ($3,806,517,963 in lobbying since 1998 and another $2,307,542,964 in direct pay-offs to politicians themselves), will ever get any justice at all-- unless the Frankenstein's monster of the teabagger movement they created and financed turns on them!

But, alas, angry teabaggers are more likely to get all their information-- every bit of it, even if it moots their own personal reality-- from the likes of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage than from a real populist like, say, Robert Reich. Had they read Reich yesterday they might be crashing down those Wall Street barricades today.
One out of four homeowners is now under water, owing more on their homes than the homes are worth. Why? The biggest single factor behind the housing crisis is rising unemployment. According to the latest ABC-Washington Post poll, one out of every three Americans has either lost their job or lives in a household with someone who has lost a job. Today it takes two and sometimes three incomes to buy the groceries and pay the mortgage or the rent. So if one of those incomes is gone, a homeowner can’t make the payment.

The scourge of unemployment is splitting America into three groups:
1. the third just mentioned, whose households are in danger of losing their homes and whose kids are surviving on food stamps (that’s up to one in four children in America today);

2. the vast majority of Americans who are managing but worried about keeping their jobs and homes; and

3. a small number who are taking home even more winnings than they did in the boom year 2007.

Prominent among category (3) are Wall Street bankers, many of whom are now concluding their most profitable year ever. Goldman Sachs (GS) is so flush it’s preparing to give out bonuses in a few weeks totaling $17 billion. That will mean eight-figure compensation packages for lots of Goldman executives and traders. JPMorgan Chase (JPM) is rumored to have a bonus pool of around $5 billion. The three other major Wall Street banks are ratcheting up their compensation packages so their “talent” won’t be poached by Goldman or JPMorgan.

Wall Street is booming again in large part because the rest of America-- categories (1) and (2), above-- bailed it out to the tune of $700 billion last year. The Street has repaid some of that but, according to the bailout program’s inspector general, much of it is gone forever. For example, the taxpayer money that bailed out giant insurer AIG went directly through AIG (AIG) to its “counterparties” like Goldman Sachs-- to whom Tim Geithner, according to the inspector general, gave away the store. As Goldman Sachs prepares to dole out some $17 billion to its executives and traders, it’s worth noting that Goldman received $13 billion a year ago from the rest of us via AIG and Geithner, no strings attached.

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At 11:16 AM, Anonymous Poopyman said...

If Erik Prince hasn't already contacted these guys about providing security for them, well, shame on him. We expect these guys to gravitate towards each other eventually, don't we?

At 12:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the likely target of anger will not be Goldman Sachs execs, but rather will be local loan officers or whoever is deemed the problem.


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